If You Unfollow Someone on Instagram Will They Know?

What Happens When You Unfollow Someone on Instagram

If You Unfollow Someone on Instagram Will They Know?

If the account you are unfollowing on Instagram is a private account, whether or not they figure it out depends on how much they pay attention and how often you interact on their profile.

There are aspects that work both for you and against you if you are trying to unfollow someone anonymously.

Instagram is courteous enough to not send notifications if you are unfollowed, nor do they send a message to an account if you choose to unfollow someone else.

Tip: If you accidentally followed someone then unfollow them which is a slightly different scenario, you may be worried if they’ll know.

As stated in the previous section, unfollowing someone on Instagram does not end that user following your account, so they would still be able to see your posts, but you would not be seeing their posts on your Instagram feed.

It is fairly simple for someone to determine if they have been unfollowed on Instagram; however, it would take a little effort on their part.

Depending on the person, and your relationship with that person, they would first have to suspect that your following status of their account had changed.

They could go to the list of their followers and search for your name and would see that it did not appear, which would tell them that you no longer follow their account. This is, of course, assuming that they know to specifically search for you on their list of followers.

If they have noticed that their follower’s list has dwindled, they could certainly do some investigating by comparing the list of people who follow them to the list of the people they follow.

This would be really tedious, though, and could still prevent them from figuring out it was you who unfollowed them since there are a lot of Instagram accounts in existence, and just because you follow someone does not mean that they will also follow you.

It would be way more obvious if you unfollowed a private account on Instagram if they did not have a lot of followers to begin with, and you guys were often interacting.

If you were always liking and commenting on their posts but then suddenly disappear, it could cause them to become suspicious. Once they looked at their list of followers, they would know to be searching for you and would find that your name no longer appears on the list.

Even if you did unfollow someone, their ability to see your content would still remain as long as they followed you.

If you unfollow someone because you did not want to see their Instagram content, then you can just move on with your day. It is unlikely that they will notice, depending on how many followers they have.

If you unfollow someone because you do not want to see their content and do not want them to see your content, you will have to do more than just unfollow. You will have to go in and block them, or they will still have access to everything that you post.

What Happens When You Unfollow Someone on Instagram?

If you unfollow someone on Instagram, it is essentially the equivalent of removing yourself from a conversation that was occurring in real life. The unfollow feature allows you to end the online friendship on the platform.

By unfollowing them, you are making it so that their content, including their posts and stories, is no longer visible on your Instagram feed. Nothing else significant happens when you unfollow someone on Instagram.

The person that you have unfollowed will still have the ability to send messages (more on that later), but you can choose to not read them or not respond.

Also, since you will not be getting any notifications when they send you a message through Instagram DM, you could completely ignore them altogether, but remember that those messages can pile up.

The likes and comments that you and the other person exchanged on each other’s Instagram posts will still be present since they occurred before you unfollowed them.

They will not magically disappear just because you decided you no longer wanted to continue following them on Instagram.

Eventually, they will probably be able to figure out that you have unfollowed them since you will not be as easily accessible; depending on the privacy settings you have on your Instagram account, they will not have access to your content if they try to search for you if your account is private.

Understand that it could lead to a slightly awkward conversation if the person is someone that know in real life. If, however, you are choosing to unfollow someone who has tens of thousands of followers, there is a good chance that they will never know unless you two were interacting before you unfollowed them.

If you pressed the unfollow button on someone that you were not regularly connecting with on Instagram, it is unlikely that they would even notice.

Understand that if you found yourself reading this article because you are considering unfollowing someone on Instagram and want to know what to expect if you go through with it, there are a few different options that you have when it comes to limiting your access and someone else’s access, to Instagram’s content.

It is important to understand the differences because you do not necessarily want to select the wrong one. Below, you will find your different options, as well as an explanation of what each feature does:

Block: Just like other social networks, Instagram’s block feature will restrict your Instagram profile and its content from someone else. Though they may still be able to search for you, your posts will not appear when they access your profile page.

The only thing they will see are the numbers of followers and following. A follow button is available, but if they choose to try to use it, it will not do anything.

You will not be able to receive DMs from their account nor will there be any notifications. If choosing this option, know that you can be selective with the material you are choosing to block a person from.

You can either block them from absolutely everything Instagram related, or you can choose to block them from being able to comment on your posts and stories.

If you block someone, you will have to unblock them and then resume following them before you can regain access to their content. Also, know that any time you unfollow and then decide to follow someone again, they will get a notification.

Mute: Muting is Instagram’s polite option of maintaining a connection without having to be subjected to their posts and stories. If you decide to mute someone on Instagram, you will not see their posts on your feed, nor will their stories appear with your follower’s stories.

Unlike the more severe option of blocking, all of your material is still accessible to them, meaning your posts will still appear on their Instagram feed, and your stories will still be visible to them. You can still see their content, as well, but you will have to actively seek them out by going to their Instagram profile.

The best part is that, if you choose to, you can unmute someone on Instagram, and there is no notification sent to them, meaning they will never know.

Unfollow: Unfollowing another account on Instagram falls in between muting and blocking someone. You will not see their posts anymore, but if their account and content are set to public, you can still gain access if you actively search for them.

If, however, their account is private, you will not be able to see anything on their profile unless you press the “Follow” button. Understand that doing so is going to send them a notification, meaning they will know you unfollowed them if they had not already figured it out.

If I Unfollow Someone on Instagram, Will They Know?

Technically, an account will not be notified if you decide to unfollow them on Instagram, but they will likely be able to figure it out if they decide to search for your Instagram profile and are unable to see your posts, depending on your profile’s privacy settings.

Sometimes you need to unfollow someone, especially if you think they are posting content that is bothering you or there is no reason to continue following them online.

Choosing to unfollow someone on Instagram is the equivalent of “defriending” them or unfollowing someone on other forms of social media.

You are no longer providing them with access to your Instagram account if it is set to private, and you are making it so that you no longer have to see their Instagram content on your feed.

There is not a push notification that is sent whenever you choose to unfollow someone, but they could eventually figure it out if they go to search for you and find that something has changed.

If they pay attention to the number of followers they have and notice that the number has decreased, they might start looking through their followers to see if someone is missing.

This scenario is not a huge deal if it was not someone that you regularly interacted with; however, if it was someone that had minimal followers to begin with and you guys did interact, then they might realize it was you.

It does not matter what your reasoning behind wanting to unfollow someone on Instagram is, whether it be because you were in a relationship and are no longer involved, you find the user’s posts to be offensive or annoying, or you are just trying to do a little house keeping for your Instagram posts and stories.

Unfollowing the other account allows you to no longer receive notifications from their Instagram activity or be bombarded with their Instagram posts.

Understand that choosing to unfollow someone on Instagram is not exactly the same thing as defriending someone on Facebook: following statuses do not change just because one user chose to unfollow the other on Instagram.

This means that if you do unfollow someone, your account is not automatically removed from the users that they follow. They can still see your content, but you will not see their content.

If you remove them as a follower however, you may be wondering if they’ll be notified.

Sometimes, you can love a person dearly, but their Instagram posts are not something that you necessarily want to be subjected to, whether it be for a short amount of time or for the foreseeable future.

Since unfollowing another account maintains the integrity of your Instagram feed but allows you some peace from their content, you do not need to feel guilty for using the feature.

People change, and also change their minds. Some Instagram accounts are notorious for following a large number of users hoping to gain a follow back, only to go back and unfollow them later.

Depending on the account you are unfollowing and how many followers they have, there is a chance that they will never notice.

Though there is no notification received when someone is unfollowed, they will receive a notification if you change your mind and decide that you want to have access to their content again.

If I Unfollow Someone on Instagram, Can They Still See My Story?

Yes, even if you have unfollowed someone on Instagram, they will still be able to see your story, provided that they are still following you.

Unfollowing an account does not completely sever the interactions. There are only a few ways for them to no longer be able to see your story, and some of them are beyond your control.

Option 1: They muted you. If they muted you, they would not see your story when they accessed their Instagram homepage.

Remember that you would not get a notification if they muted you, so the only way you would have any idea is to see who is viewing your story and see if their name appears. If there name is there, then you know that they are still watching your stories.

They could certainly access your story even if they mute you, but they would have to go to your profile. Again, you would not necessarily know for sure which route they chose.

Option 2: They unfollow you. If you unfollow someone, you already know that any story or post they put out there on Instagram will not show up on your feed, and the same would be true if they chose to unfollow you.

Your material would no longer be visible to them. Of course, there is a possible way for two accounts that do not follow one another to view each other stories, but only if the stories are posted publicly.

The other account will still have to go seek you out to be able to view your story. Otherwise, once they unfollow you, whether it be before or after you have unfollowed them, your story will not appear on their Instagram feed.

Option 3: You block them. If you just unfollow someone, all you are doing is making it so that their content does not appear on your Instagram feed. As long as they are following you, they can still see your content.

If, however, your goal is to completely sever the online relationship, you will have to do more than just unfollow them. If you do not want them to be able to see your story, you will need to go under your follower’s list and select them, and then select the “Block” option under their name.

To ensure that they will not be able to see your story, you will also need to go into your privacy settings and adjust them so that your content is all set to private.

These steps will not only prevent you from seeing their story, which was accomplished when you unfollowed them but will remove their access to your content.

Understand that, even though there is no notification, they could realize that you have blocked them, especially if you regularly interact with one another.

If I Unfollow Someone, Can They Still See My Instagram Posts?

Even though you essentially removed another account’s posts from appearing on your feed, unfollowing someone on Instagram does not prevent them from being able to view, like, or comment on your Instagram posts. As long as they are still following you, your posts will show up on their feed.

Now, there are a few things here to consider. First, if the account that you chose to unfollow has tens of thousands of other accounts that they follow, the chances that they were seeing your posts in the first place was a lot smaller, regardless of if you were still following them or not.

After all, Instagram feeds are clogged with thousands of posts, and things get missed all the time.

If, however, the account does not follow as many people, they could potentially notice when you unfollow them, but they would not necessarily be able to determine that it was specifically you.

As long as they were still seeing your content, they would not necessarily get suspicious unless they were able to cross-reference their followers list with the list of accounts that they follow.

Again, depending on how many people are on both lists, this could be an extensive undertaking. If it were someone from real life that you encounter daily, and they asked if you saw their Instagram post, you could always just say no.

It would not readily indicate that you had unfollowed them, and it could have just been because your own Instagram feed was clogged.

Now if they ask you to pull it up on your phone and their account is private, you might have a little more difficulty explaining that, especially if they are standing right there, since you could not follow them back again without them receiving a notification.

If You Unfollow Someone on Instagram, Can You Still See If They Are Active?

If you have unfollowed someone on Instagram, the ability to see their active status will depend on whether or not they have the feature enabled.

If someone has their account’s Activity Status turned on, or enabled, then the people that they follow as well as anyone that they message with through Instagram DMs have the ability to see the last time that they were active, as well as whether or not they are currently active on Instagram.

Enabling the active status between on and off is simple, and will only require the account holder to visit their account settings, access the “Privacy and Security” option, and uncheck the box located next to the “Show Activity Status” option.

Whether or not a user is active on Instagram is indicated within Instagram Direct. There will either be a green dot on the account user’s profile picture or there will be a timestamp available that shows then the user was last active. These features, however, only cooperate when the account holder has their activity status availability enabled.

If the Activity Status of a user is turned off, they will be unable to see whenever accounts that do follow them or accounts that they are participating in conversations with in their Instagram DMs are currently or have recently been active.

Further, an account user who disables the activity status for their account will not be able to see the activity status of anyone else’s account.

This means that if the person that you unfollowed on Instagram does have their activity status feature enabled, then you can still see if they are active as long as they are following you; however, if they have turned their activity status off, or if you have your activity status feature disabled, you will not be able to see if that user is active on Instagram.

If You Unfollow Someone, Can They Still Message You?

If you have unfollowed someone on Instagram, you have not necessarily limited their ability to send you messages through Instagram DM. Unfollowed accounts still have the ability to send you messages.

You only have to distinguish which inbox their messages go into when they send it. The message from that user will be available within your Instagram DMs as “Message Requests”, and you can decide if you want to open them and read them or leave them alone and ignore them.

Even when unfollowed by someone, the interface for Instagram DM does not change for the person who is trying to contact you, meaning that they will be unable to tell solely from their inbox page that you are no longer following them because your chat will still appear in their inbox.

If they open the chat and pay attention to the wording that appears under your profile picture, they will know that you have unfollowed them.

When you both follow one another, Instagram will say “You follow each other on Instagram”. If they follow you but you no longer follow them, it will just say “Follow You” when they open your conversation thread.

Nothing happens to messages after unfollowing someone. Your past messages will not disappear. Similarly, you can still DM the person and continue chatting with them.

You should not take it personally when someone unfollows you on Instagram, especially if it’s a stranger. Some people follow others just to gain followers, and then they unfollow them.

Also, it’s not necessary to unfollow someone if they have unfollowed you. If you like that person’s posts, it’s okay to continue following them. And it’s fine, even if you unfollow them.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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